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the FRAX in FC, what do you think ?
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes he is!
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to do the CWS in the next issue (50), but after that, whatever you want. Come up with a list of 10 frax shps and there's the rest of your year.
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
rulesjd wrote:
While I have often wished the ship classes in SFB operated as "wet navy" ships (long and heavy guns on capital ships and classes more reflective of roles than minor design differences) that is not the paradigm selected. The Frax weapons arcs "break" the concept on which the other ships were built. Conversely, if the design using disruptors were superior, it would ultimately be adapted by all disruptor races.

I'd almost like to see Steve invent an entirely new design (with some similar mechanics) in which the wet navy paradigm could be better captured and the frax would make an excellent start.


I would also like to see Steve invent an entirely new design (with some similar mechanics) in which the wet navy paradigm could be better captured, but I disagree with your statement that if the design of the current or future Frax ships using disruptors were superior, it would ultimately be adapted by all disruptor races. The reason is due to how the other races use their ships.

Example, Klingons come in for an oblique attack to maximize their firepower and offer you their followup strike from their rear armaments. If need be, they can stay at range 15 and sabre dance with you. Actually, plasma races should fear the Frax more than the disruptor races.

But, have you fought against them yet? Or fought with them?


I bought my first copy of SFB when it appeared in a plastic zip lock bag. I was playing when the frax (and just about everything else) came out. My group, about 12 strong at the time, just didn't care for what the Frax offered to the game.

As to tactics, the disruptor races all have largely similar disruptor arrays with 4 mounts usually firing FA with some L/R capability. This tends to match the heavy weapons of most SFB ships which direct the majority of firepower through the front 3 arcs leading to tactics which are more consistent with modern day jet fighters than wet navy ships.

Because disruptors are not crunch weapons, they are generally used in an attrition capacity against enemy shields until sufficient weakness is generated to allow a closing pass. This means that disruptor ships prefer opening engaements at medium to long ranges.

Given that most ships have weapons directed forward, they are generally using shields 3-5 to cover their withdrawals while reloading weapons and then fighting through shields 6,1, and 2.

Now here come the Frax. The original CA has two disruptors in FX and two in RX. This effectively gives the Frax 4 shields to fight behind rather than just three. You're right that this is a concern to plasma races who must pursue while facing rear firing disruptors. However, it should concern every race as the Frax have the best opportunity to keep ranges open while still using heavy weapons and spreading enemy damage across more shields.

SVC created the original SFB ships using the Franz Joseph designs as a template. The designs represented a pop culture view of space warfare rather than any realistic assessment of engineering considerations. Given the fiction of the series and the movies, it was always clear that a Klingon battlecruiser was at least a match for the Federation cruisers. Steve created the Klingons with a "forest" of phasers, as per the FJ drawings but, made them weaker than the Fed P-1's. The disruptors were aggressive in nature with rapid firing. However, the necessity of developing the sabre tactics in the game to avoid immediate closure with Federation photons never seemed very "Klingon" to me.

Why do Klingon ships have weak shields? Because they don't run away. But, why then deploy a weapon system that requires a hit and run strategy. Why does the Federation, a peaceful race, deploy a weapon system that requires them to close to knife fight range and deliver a massively crushing blow and with which they cannot use their peacenick non-violent combat targetting?

The problem with the Frax is they have no story element that relates to the SFB universe. They are a computer construct meant to show an optimized paradigm. As such why would anyone not fly them (unless it was for the story elements) who wanted disruptors? A long range fleet engagement is going to favor this race above others. And why on earth wouldn't the Klingons adopt the far better weapons arcs? In fact why wouldn't any of the direct fire races adopt the turret like swivel mounts?

Historically speaking, enemy cultures tend to adopt their opponents weapons over time when they are demonstrably successful. This includes designs of plaforms. (After all, the Klingons in the movies did eventually use the photon and a cloak).

So, to reiterate, I'd probably enjoy and SVC designed wet navy style game. I probably will pick up Klingon Armada as I do like Starmada. I just don't like the way the Frax break the paradigm of the SFB superfighters.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think in FC that will be less of an issue, mainly because long-range fights tend to be very drawish in FC because of the damage and repair rules. To win decisively, you'll need to get in close and use overloads which I think would be tough for the Frax.
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
I think in FC that will be less of an issue, mainly because long-range fights tend to be very drawish in FC because of the damage and repair rules. To win decisively, you'll need to get in close and use overloads which I think would be tough for the Frax.


That's always been true of the disruptor races. Closing an undamage ship early and exchanging alpha strikes is generally a poor exchange with heavier direct fire races. Having lost scatter packs has complicated this for the Klingons as has the lower drone control capactiy for the Kzinti. Low drone reload rates only only complicates this task.

A disruptor ship will, in most cases want to scrape away at the enemy's fighting shields early to make a subsequent close range strike more effective. The Frax can fight equally from port or starboard with their FX/RX arcs. This means they can turn from side to side presenting their full complement of disruptors while closing or retreating. They have a greater array of shields to fight behind while scraping with disruptors and then closing for overload range.

As far as repair goes, it's better than SFB but, only slightly. It's also offset by the leak rules and by drone ships which have to surrender repair for reloads. One good thing for disruptors is that you are limited to battery power to reinforce shields. No longer can the Fed put a reinforcement brick on the front shield and close with the Klingon.

You are entirely correct that long range fights do not produce much in the way of victories, at least not spectacular ones. On a closed map, the disruptor ship must dance very carefully in order not to get run down by the photon/plasma bullies. However, on an open map, disruptors shine. Set up a fleet at medium range with disruptors and drones and you can pulverize a base at will with little loss in return. Weapon advantages can often be scenario specific.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Set up a fleet at medium range with disruptors and drones and you can pulverize a base at will with little loss in return.' rulesjd

We have not seen this when the base is rotating; only when the base is stationary has this been witnessed, and it still took alot of lucky rolls.
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
'Set up a fleet at medium range with disruptors and drones and you can pulverize a base at will with little loss in return.' rulesjd

We have not seen this when the base is rotating; only when the base is stationary has this been witnessed, and it still took alot of lucky rolls.


You actually need to send your fleet on a rotation schedule that allows to you return to a firing point on the same (base) shield while timing this to coincide with drone arrival. It's not exactly fun but, neither is scheduling the supply trains and that's how you win the battle.

I actually don't enjoy base reduction scenarios.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to have a CVS, and if possible in the near future, a CVA or CVB.

Would like for the Frax to have all disruptors in turrets with PH-2's lining the sides (4 per side) to give a better reflection of a wet navy. [What wet navy design has different weapons in their turrets?] Light cruisers and frigates should have four drone launchers but drones should only run for one turn. Light cruisers should have more PH-3's than FF's have, and CA's should have more than a CL, and DN more than CA or BCH, and BB more than DN. Carriers should have more 360 capability than any other ship.

Just ideas thrown out on the table...
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I wanted a wet navy style fleet I'd play a wet navy game.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, Jutland is a great game for that, but it is a bit archaic, referencing carriers and submarines. And you need room, lots and lots of room...like a gymnasium.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TFG did Battlewagon a long, long time ago.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
Would like for the Frax to have all disruptors in turrets with PH-2's lining the sides (4 per side) to give a better reflection of a wet navy.

Just for clarification, when asking what Frax ships are wanted, the assumption is for existent Frax ships. No one is going to completely redesign the Frax fleet from scratch. This is just the ships that already exist in SFB.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that, Mike, but I figure there is no harm in presenting an idea or concept. Who knows, maybe there will be another race with a basic wet navy concept like this in the future. Think about the other simulator races and certain 'solar sail' ships; two types.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You know, Jutland is a great game for that

Quote:
TFG did Battlewagon a long, long time ago.


Wow, blasts from the past, I played both of those a long long time ago - like 20-25 years ago. I probably still have them in the garage somewhere along with all my other old wargames, assuming they have survived the damp.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of the frax ships have "different weapons in the turrets".

They have multiple turrets!

The US heavy cruisers had triple eight-inch turrets with double five-inch turrets superfiring.

The Yamato had 18-inch turrets with (nine inch? I forget) turrets superfiring.

Now, the old Kearsarge had something oddball like 11inch turrets with 7 inch turrets welded on top of them, but nobody liked that.
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